People who suffer from imposter syndrome might also miss out on opportunities for promotion and advancement because they do not believe that they are qualified for positions that are within their scope or area of expertise. The same is true for dating relationships where a man or woman might not 'shoot their shot" with the the person they are interested in, because they believe the person is way out of their league.
I’ve have never written an article about a topic that I have not struggled with personally or experienced. So, I can relate to having experienced moments (personal and professional) where I have felt trapped or stuck in situations that I couldn’t seem to make progress on or move forward. That said, I also know that sitting around waiting and playing victim has never helped me get unstuck, nor will it help you.
At a surface level, telling someone to just be yourself or be authentic might seem like solid, and great advice. But this advice can be confusing on many levels, and it raises a ton of questions. Afterall, which self are you advising them to be? Is it their past self, their today self, or their aspirational self (the better version of ourselves) that each of us hope to one day meet? What if they haven’t yet figured out who they are or want to be?
*Where do you see yourself 3, 5, 10 years from now? *Is your current path taking you where you want to go? *Are you on your current path because its familiar or comfortable? *Is there another, less troublesome path you could take towards achieving your dreams?
So, when do you feel most unsafe?
Is it when the zeros in your bank account starts to dwindle?
Is it when you are home alone or walking down a dark street?
Is it when you are experiencing conflict with a supervisor or coworker on the job?
Is it when you’re in danger of losing a loved one or when your relationship with your partner has broken down?
Have you ever choked up in a conversation or felt tears streaming down your face in while talking about something personal? I have. In fact, I used to feel embarrassed and annoyed that the more I wanted the stop the tears, the more freely they seemed to flow. In those moments, I have felt vulnerable, self-conscious, weak, and frustrated and that somehow it meant I didn’t have it all together. I was wrong.
But when people feel that they opinions and ideas won’t be accepted, they start to withdraw and hide (silence) or push too hard, (violence). Therefore, to help people feel safe in these crucial conversations, we must establish mutual purpose and mutual respect by letting the other person know that we care about them and their issue and that we have have shared goals. When we make people feel safe in tough conversations, we you can talk about anything, and people will listen.
When it comes to personal and professional relationships, the four words “We need to talk” can sound threatening and unsettling. And while no one has directed them to me lately, I recently had a few crucial conversations with people in both my personal and professional lives. While none of these conversations were comfortable, all of them were necessary. These crucial conversations took vulnerability, patience, a willingness for us to share our feelings and thoughts openly and honestly while listening to the other person’s perspective.
I know that making assumptions is wrong and that when and where I do it, I am projecting my fears, insecurities, doubts, and expectations on others. I also recognize that I also treat many of my assumptions as truth and act accordingly. Afterall, most of us create stories and narratives in our heads that justify our positions on a matter or to help us make sense of situations we are facing. These assumptions are potentially damaging to relationships as we defend our positions and try to make the other person wrong.
Did you know that overwork and burnout contributed to more than 745,000 deaths worldwide in just one year? Yes, according to Psychology Today, a recent study from the World Health Organization, found that “over 60 percent employees suffer from workplace stress.” In today’s environment, the fear or risk of feeling or becoming “burnout” has never been greater or more real. So even though we survived 2020, most of us approached 2021, cautiously optimistic that the worst was behind us, and that better days were coming with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Typically, when you hear about the 5 Second Rule, it is talking out the amount of time you have to quickly pick up a piece of food that has fallen to ground. This article is not about that 5 second rule but my latest summer book pick - The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. In her book the 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins offers up a new tool that we can use to take decisive action, overcome procrastination, hesitancy, and self-doubt to improve our lives, relationships, happiness, and work.
At some point or another, we’ve all met a ‘Fred’, needed a ‘Fred’, been helped by a ‘Fred’ or better yet have been a ‘Fred’ to someone else. So, what is a ‘Fred’? A ‘Fred’ is someone who goes above and beyond to deliver excellent service or stands out in his or her work regardless the role or circumstances. So, think of your most memorable customer service experience or a time when met someone who provided the high-quality service that blew you away or left a lasting and positive impression on you- that was a Fred.
All the stories of people who have overcame extraordinary circumstances to beat the odds, those who rose to the top of their game to achieve great success or blazed new trails are filled with examples of men and women who pushed past crippling fear, failure, rejection, and disappointment to chase after their dreams. Their stories show how they stepped out of their comfort zone and embraced risks to achieve breakthroughs and their life’s purpose. But whether you are successful or not, every one of us wrestle with fear in one area of our lives or another.
The law of attraction states that we attract into our lives what we project into the universe. This simply means that the people and events we attract to our lives are based on what we focus on and direct our attention to. The law of attraction is based on the view that we focus on expands. So, if we have negative thoughts, we will send out negative energy which will attract negative people and things into our lives. But if you think positive thoughts and feelings, you will generate positive energy which will attract positive events, people, and things to your life. So, if you are feeling negative or positive in this moment- that is the energy you are sending out to your environment and the people around you.
If you are reading this article, chances are you might be dealing with a difficult season, have just come out of a one or are heading to challenging time in either your personal or professional life. But in this age of social media, where we are bombarded by images of people living their “best lives” through their highlight reels, it is easy to believe that some people have all the luck, while you are struggling or feeling stuck. Truth is, nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. Life is a every changing journey, filled with peaks and valleys or highs and lows that each of us go through. Since no one gets to go through life without experiencing peaks and valleys, how do you make these good times and bad times work for you?
The Coffee Bean story uses the powerful analogy of a pot of boiling water and how three objects (a carrot, an egg, and a coffee bean) are changed by the heat and pressure when placed in the pot. The carrot goes in hard; it becomes soft by the heat and the pressure of the water. The longer the carrot stays in the boiling water, the more it loses its original form, becoming softer and softer and until it loses its vibrant color and taste. Though the egg had a hard outer shell that covers its soft liquid insides, when placed in the boiling water, the soft liquid inside begins to get hard. And if that egg stays in the water long enough, it becomes so hard that even the harder outer shell cracks. But when the coffee bean is placed into the pot of boiling water,
Did you know that 1/3 of new year resolutions do not make it beyond January, let alone the middle of year? Even with the best of intentions to improve health, finances, make career moves, year after year, many people abandon their goals and plans by the end of February. There are many reasons to explain why some people fail to stick with their goals and execute their plans for personal and professional success. But perhaps the first and most important reason is that, they were not clear about their goals, the why behind them, what would be involved and the difference it would make if they achieved them.
We have all heard the sayings “Time waits for no man” and “Time is Money”. Both of these cautionary statements are intended to remind us that we cannot delay the passage of time and that time is the most finite and valuable resource we have. Yet, the dilemma for many people is that they do not believe they have enough time to invest in the activities that are most important to them and that will ultimately help them achieve their mission and goals for personal and professional success.
While change is constantly happening in the environment around us, change can be difficult to deal with. Some people see change as exciting and readily embrace it because of the new opportunities and innovations it presents. But for others, the process of change is chaotic, risky, and filled with negative emotions such as uncertainty, stress, and fear since change marks a departure from what is comfortable or familiar.
After reading the book, my biggest takeaway was that “Every action you take is a vote for the person you want to be.” When I assessed my habits then and tracked how I was spending my time, I realized I was voting for an unproductive TV watcher not a writer. My behaviors were not consistent with my goal to write and publish a book someday. I knew these behaviors had to change. Consequently, I decided that my writing rut was over, and I would resume writing and publishing articles on my blog again.
Have you ever driven home or to work with no memory of how you got there, or completed a chore or task without any recollection of what you did? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Much of what we do from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep is based on habits we perform on autopilot. In fact, research tell us that “approximately 43% of our daily behaviors are performed out of habit.” So, where you park your car, whether you park facing in or out, what you reach for first when you wake up and what you do next, your entire morning routine is made up of small or big habits.
For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled with Mathematics and other numeric subjects and I have the poor grades to prove it. This fixed mindset that I did not like math and was not good at it started in my childhood and travelled with me all the way through to college. However, in my first year of undergraduate studies, I had to do an Introductory Statistics course to complete my degree. The course was widely touted as difficult and had a high failure rate amongst first year students. When it was time to do the course, I found it difficult and intimidating and went through the semester just praying to scrape through with a passing grade. Unfortunately, at the end of the semester, I got my results and found a big F amongst the As and B+s on my transcript.
If we do not learn how to deal with conflict, we are fated to spend most of our lives being miserable about unmet needs and unhappy in our personal and professional relationships. Yet, many of us were never taught how to deal with conflict in a healthy and constructive way. Most of us probably learned how to manage conflict from the unhealthy examples demonstrated by our parents or from what we saw during our childhood. And today, our attitudes and approaches to dealing with conflict is still influenced by those patterns.
With this “everyone gets a trophy” generation, I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes struggle with feeling empathy for some people who describe their lives as “hard.” Growing up without both parents, I believed my life was hard since I had to learn very early how to be independent and to look out for myself. As a result, I do not have a lot of patience for anyone I perceive as lazy, entitled, and expect things to go their way. This is primarily because my perspective of a hard life is very different from their view of a “hard life”.
Each of us have experienced tough times or situations that have made us feel uncertain and unsafe. So, whether it was poverty, loneliness, loss of employment or income, death of a loved one, a life-threatening diagnosis or some other life changing event, we have all had to overcome something, we have all had to be resilient.
For me, the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme is great illustration of what happens when trust is violated or broken. Whether the relationship is personal or professional, things fall apart when promises are broken, commitments are not honored, lies are told, information is withheld, confidence is betrayed and people or their actions are willfully misrepresented by others. Regardless of the circumstance, the results of broken trust are division, doubt, fear, insecurity, hurt, bitterness, stress, resentment and unhealthy interactions or relationships.
Truth is, the quality of our interactions and relationships are based on the degree to which we feel we can place our confidence in others. Supervisors who do not trust their teams are more likely to micromanage. People who do not trust their partners are more likely to be insecure, question their every move or sneak around trying to get information. If you do not trust a product or service, you are unlikely to buy it. And business that operate in low trust environments, spend way more money on security to protect their assets and customers. Fact is- trust affects everything -who we chose to be in relationship with, where we look for for help, who we confide in, who we do business with, where we spend/save our money, the products we consume and even the jobs we leave or take.
So, think about the last decision you made or problem you had to solve? How did you go about it? Did you gather the information and objectively look at the pros and cons? Did you ask questions to get additional information? Did you verify the source of the information you were basing your decision on or did you just go on the basis on your gut feeling or what a friend or family member told you? Making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, reacting emotionally and not being able to distinguish between facts or fake news are obvious indicators that you might not be thinking critically about a particular situation, individual or issue.
If you have ever listened to a successful person speak about their achievements or journey towards their biggest moment, whether it was an athlete, actor, entrepreneur or professional, the one thing you would probably hear them mention is the importance of being and staying motivated. You probably would also hear their stories of overcoming adversity, setbacks, the pain of failure, mistakes and even their struggles with self-doubt. You would hear them speak about pushing through the obstacles to remain committed and focused on that dream or goal that they set for themselves.
Wash your hands, do not touch your face and sanitize seemed to be the never-ending tune playing in our heads. Sneezing and coughing became taboo in public spaces and could earn you the side eye amongst family and friends. Paranoia set in and many of us became germaphobes and hoarders overnight, while our home became multipurpose spaces for school, church, and work. Suddenly, normal daily routines were abandoned, the outdoors were empty, cars were parked, and the roads were traffic free. Life became quiet and eerie.
Recently, I checked on him to see how things were going. I was hoping for progress but from what I heard, not much had changed. He seemed to have a problem for every solution I tried to help him with and could hardly commit to taking much needed action to help himself. The conversation left me tired and frustrated.
Her feedback certainly explained why- despite my best efforts I was not having the impact I wanted and was not working effectively with those members of the team. The feedback left me feeling confused and frustrated. How could my strengths- self-confidence, outgoing personality and assertiveness show up as a weakness? Her feedback had revealed a blind spot and I knew then that I would need to do some things differently.
“It is complicated”- is a relationship status that no one aspires to. It typically speaks to a relationship that is characterized by drama, mixed feelings, and unresolved issues. Yet, when I think about my own history and relationship with feedback- it is complicated are the only words to describe it.
Our negative thoughts can stem from an unanswered call to a friend or loved one, or an unacknowledged text. Negative thinking can also be triggered by the language in an email you received from a supervisor/coworker, the tone a person used when speaking to you, your observations on how a situation was handled or just a gut feeling you have about something or someone
However, I have also worked in environments where, I have had a coworker who looks like me say “I don’t like you all (meaning immigrants)” and accuse me of receiving preferential treatment (due to Caribbean heritage) as compared to other black women. I have even had another woman who does not look like me say “your energy is shutting me down”.
During this time, my only self-care (more like self-preservation) was wearing a mask, washing my hands and social distancing. I was super stressed, suffered hair loss, felt irritable all the time, and just felt 'dry" in every area of my life. I was not ok, and I had not put my mask on first.
Look Ahead, Look Back It is a truth universally acknowledged that, 2020 was a year like no other and no one saw it coming. Whether it was the COVID pandemic that shattered our notions of normal, or the physical and social isolation that revealed the quality of our relationships and threatened our mental health/well-being, or… Continue reading 6 Lessons From 2020 We Should Not Forget in 2021!
There is a $9.9 billion market for motivational self-improvement programs and products that seek to improve us physically, mentally, financially or spiritually.
Four years ago (Today), I migrated to the USA to embark on a brand new chapter of my life. Excited about my visions of success, the lure of new opportunities and the well wishes of friends and family, I flew out bravely. But, like any big life event or major change, the journey has been filled with challenges and opportunities that I had to navigate to transition… Continue reading Coming to America..4 Years Later
“Almost Every Successful Person Begins With Two Beliefs, The Future Can Be Better Than The Present And I Have The Power To Make It So.”
Much of what we think, how we think, what we see, how we feel, and how we act is determined by our personal biases, and limited experiences. However “valid” or “right, “we believe these perspectives to be - they might not always be so.
They say that, 'beauty is in the eyes of the beholder'. I say, so is success. Recently, I had conversations with two friends - one male and, the other female, in which success, perceptions of success, or the lack thereof were common themes. In these interactions, both friends shared their views about their own successes… Continue reading Success & Misperceptions of Success
Making a commitment is sometimes easy, but staying committed is most times hard. This is true of most commitments, whatever their shape or form. Nonetheless, at the start of a New Year, many people declare themes, set goals and share resolutions about what they hope to achieve in the long and short-term. Unfortunately though, some people are permanent non-starters, and their… Continue reading That Commitment Thing….
You get the call. After days and months of applying for jobs, tweaking your resume with key words from job announcements/postings, to ensure that you avoid the “black hole” of online applications, and applicant tracking systems, you have an interview and are a candidate for the job. Yet, like public speaking, going to the dentist… Continue reading Let’s Talk: About Interviews
Marriage/divorce, relocation/migration, critical illness, new job or starting a business, are just a few of the important life events that one may have to deal with at some point in their lives. If you’re lucky, you may only have to deal with just one of these life events, and hopefully one that you choose. Sadly,… Continue reading On Change & Transitions: Make Your Change Work For You!
Some time ago, I had a conversation with a colleague at work, in which I raised some issues about a work flow process that I had observed. As I shared my views on how the process could be improved, she nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement. Since I was new to the team, I asked… Continue reading Lead At The Level You’re At!
“You discover yourself in losing yourself in the service of others”.Ghandi All across the globe, people in every country, sector and of all ethnicities volunteer their time, and give their resources to help/support varied causes, events or efforts. But what exactly is volunteering? According to Wikipedia “Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and… Continue reading Volunteering: A Great Option For You!
I recently watched a TEDX video, Dream Big, Live Small with Dee Williams, who shared how her illness and life changing experiences dramatically transformed her perspective on life and living. She shared about how her fears about her own mortality changed her perspective, caused her to reflect on her life and make some drastic changes. These changes included selling her… Continue reading Perspective is Everything !
Doubt kill more dreams than failure ever will It is a truth universally acknowledged that challenges, setbacks, failures and disappointment are a part of life. The best laid plans will go awry. People will hurt and disappoint you. Unexpected challenges and issues will pop up as you go about your daily lives, and well thought… Continue reading On Failure and Motivation
The tears well up in Ashley’s eyes, she tries desperately to stop them, hide them, but, they stream unchecked down her face. John pushes back his chair from the table, and storms from the meeting room. The usually bubbly and energetic Ann, dejectedly looks down, there is no light in her eyes, no welcoming smile.… Continue reading Managing Emotions at Work